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The Aquarium Age: December 2011

By Ralfee Finn

Astrology for December.

What can I possibly say about the final month of an impossibly intense year other than, “Fasten your seatbelts: It’s going to be a wild ride.” You may think I’m exaggerating now; but all month long, as emotional tides rise to higher than usual holiday levels, you’re more likely to think I underestimated the intensity.

As families and friends gather to celebrate a variety of festivals that began with Thanksgiving, crescendos with the solstice (in all its iterations, from the actual day of the return of the light to Chanukah to Christmas to Kwanza) and ends with the New Year, deep-seated and long denied feelings are likely to surge, adding new depth to the meaning of “dysfunctional.” (I’m tired just thinking about it.) Be prepared for meltdowns as well as a wide range of declarations—some pronouncing independence, others proclaiming revolution. 

For some of us this rollercoaster ride will be thrilling. For those inclined toward personal growth, December 2011 promises to be an unusually transformative time. But for anyone looking to settle down or settle into holiday traditions, the erratic air is sure to be disturbing. It will require a lot of accommodating, adapting and adjusting to meet the special needs of just about everyone. The best way through Decem­ber’s “excitement” is to remember its underlying message: peace and goodwill. 

Of course, the problem with the planets is that they don’t entirely support a peaceful message this month. December opens with the dissonance of Mercury Retrograde, an irritation that lasts until Dec. 13. Most of us know the retrograde drill by now: Don’t initiate new plans or projects during this phase, and be prepared for communication snafus to cause hassles, delays and confusion.

In addition, a Sun/Mars square (Dec. 1-13) pushes attitudes toward a stubborn restlessness that seeks its release in squabbles, large and small. Try to avoid trouble by refusing to engage in negativity of any kind. If you’re asked to referee a family dispute, think twice before you agree. 

Truth be told, it won’t be possible to carry anyone else’s karmic red threads, because most of us will be too busy trying to carry our own—especially Dec. 8-14, when the world will go slightly topsy-turvy, and catching your breath before the next rise and fall (and I’m not only talking about the stock market) will feel like a gargantuan task. Here’s why:

(1) Early in the morning of Dec. 10, Uranus goes direct. Pay attention. We always feel a bump in the ethers when Uranus, the representative of startling plot twists, makes a “course correction.” Don’t be surprised if the days prior to this turn-around are uncomfortable and edgy. Uranus always affects nervous systems. Many people may experience high anxiety or disturbed sleep patterns —as in not being able to sleep at all.

(2) On that very same day and only a few hours later, there is a lunar eclipse, with the Sun, in Sagittarius and the Moon, in Gemini. During a lunar eclipse, conscious concerns override unconscious ones, offering opportunities for feet to plant themselves firmly on the ground of what is rather than in the clouds of what will be. Do your best to be practical, but don’t abandon your hopes and dreams. 

(3) Mercury goes direct on Dec. 13. Normally, the last few days of Mercury Retrograde slow to a crawl, but Uranus Direct will be gaining momentum, which is certain to interfere. Translation: Regular routines will have a peculiar rhythm. Don’t be surprised if one moment you feel it’s “full speed ahead” and the next, it’s “slam on the brakes.”

Even after the mid-month astral logjam breaks apart, minor irritants may interfere with the ability to stay cheerful. But Jupiter goes direct on Christmas Day and, given its positive, beneficent presence, attitudes are sure to take a cheerier turn—if only because all month long we are under the influence of a Saturn/Nep­tune trine, a positive interaction that fosters restraint but also foresight. 

The mantra for this trine is “Cooperation. Consideration. Collaboration.” Chant it often, especially if a meltdown feels eminent. Also, use it as a guide in dealing with others who may not be as kind as you might want them to be.

Remember: December may be a rollercoaster ride of personal and collective intensity, but we are all still on this ride together, and the kinder we can be to one another—the more we can embrace love as a strategy for survival—the better our chances are of making it through with an open and happy heart. 

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This article was originally published on November 30, 2011.